At the end of every month, the Criterion Channel removes a selection of films from their catalogue. These ones will disappear on April 1.
A Nosferatu (1922)
Forget about sexy vampires; the first film version of Dracula doesn’t have one. This unauthorized rip-off got the filmmakers in legal trouble, where Max Schreck played Count “Orlok” as a reptilian predator in vaguely human form. This 1922 silent isn’t the scariest monster movie ever made, but it just might be the creepiest. Not to be confused with Werner Herzog’s 1979 remake. Read my Blu-ray review.
A- Man Hunt (1941)
Fritz Lang created this tight and suspenseful thriller set just before World War II (and made just before America entered the war). Walter Pidgeon plays a wealthy big game hunter who may or may not want to kill Hitler – just for the sport of it. Soon the Nazis and Scotland Yard are both going after him. George Sanders and John Carradine play the evil Nazis, and Joan Bennett plays the young woman who falls in love with him.
A- Mayor (2020)
Running a large, modern city is difficult enough; it’s much harder when you’re occupied. This documentary follows Musa Hadid, the mayor of Ramallah – a large Palestinian city where Christians and Muslims mingle peacefully. At first, Hadid struggles like any other mayor – getting new doors for a school or setting up the city’s Christmas tree. But few mayors deal with settlers shooting at citizens, while the Israeli government won’t allow them to build a much-needed sewage plant. Then President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and everything goes crazy. The film climaxes with a one-sided battle as Israeli soldiers storm into the city shooting gas and brandishing guns. A powerful doc about trying to have a normal life under occupation.
B+ A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
A vampire haunts Tehran. But she’s a nice vampire, and rarely attacks people who don’t deserve it. She travels on foot – or sometimes on a skateboard. Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut feature, filmed in black and white, has an atmosphere all its own. Strange cinematic and musical riffs, along with a very loose story, make for a unique but entertaining experience. And no, this isn’t really an Iranian movie; it was made in California.
D Nude on the Moon (1961)
If you ever wondered what nudie movies of the early ’60s were like, here’s you chance. Two men go to the Moon (one of them has some extra cash) and discover something like a nudist camp. Don’t expect any real erotica. But if you like cheap, awful movies, give it a try.
Other films probably worth watching
- 3 Women (1977)
- Alphaville (1965)
- Little Women (1933)
- Nosferatu the Vampyre (2008)
- Sounder (1972)
- The Winged Serpent (1982)
Here are other films that will disappear on March 31.